Amazon may be planning to expand the reach of its innovative Amazon Go cashier-less stores, with at least one in London on the cards, but consumers won't trust them. At least, that's the opinion of the head of hardware at Square, Jesse Dorogusker.
"I don't think some of these invisible payment schemes inspire that much trust and confidence. There is uncertainty as you're strolling through a store of what's watching you, and how it can read your cart," explained CEO Jack Dorsey's right-hand man.
"I think you need more certainty between a buyer and seller. There are these little micro-contracts of agreements that have to be reinforced by good hardware and software."
Dorogusker has with Square since 2011, having previously been the director of engineering for Apple's iPhone, iPad and iPod accessories business. He has been responsible for the payment company's hardware offering over that time, including the newly-announced Square Terminal.
"I think [Amazon's] vision is an interesting one. And, as long as your vision is that people will continue to interact with physical spaces out in the world, rather than just on their couch and order things, I think there will be an evolving sense of how technology facilitates people in the space," he added.
"But, I don't know that it is a bunch of cameras trained on people walking through stores and through a turnstile. I hope for something more personal and more scalable to businesses of all sizes."
Square's response, therefore, is rather the opposite. It has introduced a device that looks like a smartphone with a built-in printer that sellers, shop owners and restaurateurs will be able to use to speed up the process of paying the bill.
Easy to set up within minutes and promising an all-day battery life, the device costs £199 outright. It comes with no monthly fees and just charges businesses 1.75 per cent for each card transaction. Square takes 2.5 per cent for online payments. The software is the same as the company's existing app, so is regularly updated with new features.
"There is very obviously a trend towards card use. Cash is on the decline, but card acceptance is critical for all businesses," Dorogusker continued.
"The card revolution is in full swing and whether that's a physical piece of plastic in their pocket, or their phone or their watch, the consumer has total control over how they pay and more often than not that's card over cash."
But as simple as that might sound, while the world is rapidly moving towards a cashless society, the executive and his team at Square are still hitting plenty of barriers: "There is still a long way to go to get card acceptance to all small business in the markets we operate in," he said.
As for how we'll be paying for things in the future, the jury is still very much out on whether we are all going to be using our watches or merely having it debited from our account having seen our faces, as in the Amazon Go experience.
"Consumers want to pay how they want to pay. The credit card phenomenon still has a lot of room to expand for consumers," we were told.
"Wearables still haven't found place in this economy and there are lots of things that we see in Asia, that are probably inevitable globally, but haven't found their foot in all markets."
Until then, while it seems we are going cashless, we are still very much focused on our plastic friend for the time being.
You can listen the full interview on the latest Pocket-lint podcast out this Friday.